The San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals recalled the tragic scene after shooting outside the stadium
WASHINGTON, DC – When gunfire began to echo around National Park, the star shortstop of the San Diego Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr., quickly thought of the team’s family and friends sitting in their seats.
On Saturday night, Tatis rushed from the bench to the left field line, helped open the gates of the stands, and began to lead a group of people back to the air-raid shelter for refuge.
“Our family, relatives, children. It feels like someone needs to get them,” Tatis said on Sunday. “I think the safest place is the clubhouse. We are working hard to get our family into a safe place.”
The first half of the sixth inning of the game between the Padres and the Washington Nationals just ended in front of about 33,000 fans when several shots were heard on South Congress Street outside the stadium’s third base.
But at this moment, no one knows whether the series of rapid shots came from the inside or outside of the court.
“This hasn’t made the situation better, but if someone shoots in the stadium, the situation will be completely different,” said Ryan Zimmerman, longtime star of the Nationals.
Metropolitan Police Department Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict (Ashan Benedict) said that the shooting was an exchange of fire between people in two vehicles, injuring three people.
According to police reports, a woman participating in the competition was hit by gunfire while waiting for an Uber outside the park. Police officials said she had bruises on her back.
Police said the other two people who entered the hospital with gunshot wounds are in stable condition.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler was on his way to watch board referee Jordan Baker. He talked about the pitch changes in San Diego’s 8-4 lead when the shot exploded.
“He was like,’Did you hear that?'” Tingler recalled Baker’s words. “I thought,’Yes, I think so’, it records what it might happen, obviously it’s just a nightmare.”
The chaotic scene developed rapidly. When the Padres cleared the ground, some fans hurriedly left the stadium, while others evaded and tried to hide, looking for cover.
“Everyone is running. It’s crazy. You can’t figure out what’s going on. If it’s one or two people,” Tatis said. “I just want to get to the safest place and find our family.”
Tatis and teammates Manny Machado and Will Myers were praised for helping guide and even carry fans away from injury.
“The situation changed immediately,” Tatis said. “There are no more players, fans. I think everyone is an ordinary person, and humans are working hard to ensure safety.”
The game was suspended immediately and ended on Sunday. The Padres won 10-4. Washington won 8-7 in the regular season.
The game went smoothly, in sharp contrast with the previous night.
As the gunshots sounded, Nationals coach Dave Martinez was ensuring the safety of his players.
Martinez said: “Then I started worrying about their families and doing my best to make them understand the players.” “And I also started to worry about the fans.”
Seeing the reaction from the third base side of the stadium, the fans on the first base side also began to flee their seats. Some of them went to the fields.
“There are a group of fans, they are in our air-raid shelter, I also want to keep them safe,” Martinez said. “We let them enter through the tunnel and enter safely and try to ensure their safety. For me, this is just to protect our people and do my best to stay calm.”
Like Tinler, Martinez was emotional when he told these events.
A few minutes after the gunfire sounded, a message appeared on the National Park scoreboard stating that the incident occurred outside the park and fans should stay in the park. About 10 minutes later, the fans were instructed to leave from the midfield and right field gate.
“We started to get news that everything happened outside the stadium,” Tinler said. “That’s when we start to feel better. You will never feel better.”
In a statement on Sunday, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and team owner Mark Lerner stated that the police believe that “the Washington Nationals, baseball stadium, or fans are not the targets of the shooting.”
“We thank the fans for their great cooperation in the game on Saturday night. They did everything they were asked to do under very stressful conditions, as well as the police and fire emergency personnel who responded,” they said.
The Nationals announced that fans holding tickets for Saturday night can redeem for another game of the season.
“David Martinez put it best-our fans are our family. We thank each of you, and we look forward to seeing you at the National Park,” the team said.
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.